Audrey Elizabeth at 4 months

IMG_1332I used to blog about my kids all the time. Now they’re a little older and I don’t like strangers knowing things about them without their permission, and also I just kind of forgot how to blog without writing an essay. But Audrey is four months old and not only have I not started her baby book,

I haven’t actually bought her a baby book.

So I better keep track on here, for her sake and for mine.

Dear Audrey, 

I’m smiling as I write this. I can’t help but smile when I talk about you, because you’re the sweetest, dearest little thing. Here’s an example of why you’re the best baby in the world:

It was the 4th of July on Monday and we always go to a big pool party at my aunt and uncle’s house. This was your first year there, obviously, and there were a LOT of people who wanted to meet you and hold you and kiss you. But you’ve been sick all week with a fever and a cough, and I felt bad letting other people hold you. According to previous baby experience (looking at you, Clara and Sammy) that wasn’t going to end well for anyone. There would be tears and panic and then a bunch of guilt on my part because I didn’t keep you as close as I should. But you know what you did?

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Nothing. You let my family hold you and pass you around, and you smiled and cooed in your raspy voice and you never cried. Not once. It’s truly amazing, your disposition. You are easy-going and happy. You smile when I swaddle you for bed, and close your eyes as I lay you down in your crib. Then you fall asleep on your own and you sleep all night.

You’ve been doing that since we brought you home from the hospital. I thought babies like you were a myth, but here you are each night, sleeping peacefully in your nursery on your floral sheets surrounded by sunny yellow walls and hanging plants. You’re a dream come true.

I know I’m not supposed to compare my kids to each other (is this even possible?) but I can’t help it. It’s not that you’re better than Clara and Sam were as babies, it’s that you’re WAY BETTER than Clara and Sam were as babies. I’m so glad you’re our third, because we appreciate you on a grand scale, built on the previous three years of babies who didn’t sleep and required constant maintenance and servanthood. Daddy and I just lay and stare at you, speaking in hushed tones about how wonderful you are and how happy we are that you are ours. 

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Audrey. Do you know how badly I wanted you? I prayed and prayed for the right time to try for another baby. God kept telling me to wait, to be patient. And I kept waiting, kept dreaming, kept wishing for another daughter. And then, finally, it was time. I told Daddy about you on Father’s Day last year, and we were both amazed at how easy it had been to conceive you. It was such a foretelling of who you would be in our family: a girl we all dreamed about, who came easily and sweetly into our lives.

Audrey Elizabeth Horney, you filled a hole we didn’t know existed. We adore you. Clara holds you in her arms in reverence, amazed at every little thing you do- “She’s looking right at me, Mama!” “She smiled, Mama!” Sammy’s voice goes up several octaves whenever he talks to you, singing “Hiiiii Audrey Beth!” and then he presses his forehead to yours before he kisses every part of your face. When I give you a bath Clara always asks, “Is it because of Sammy’s slobber, Mom?” and it almost always is.

Lately, when I’m making dinner, I put all three of you in the kids’ room. Clara and Sammy work on puzzles on their thick rug while you lay on your blanket beside them, watching and gurgling happily. I get tearful when I peek in the french doors to their room and see my three kids cheerfully existing together, already a pack, already exactly what each other needs.

You are our baby, and we needed you. 

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Beautiful girl, darling girl, sweetest love, our Audrey Beth: You have brought us buckets of joy the last four months. We love you so much that you are always covered in our kisses and slobber- we have to actually wash our love off you each night. But it doesn’t come all the way off. I know because I can see it in your eyes, a sparkle that comes from knowing you are absolutely, completely loved. And also, I imagine, from the goodness that spills out from your heart.

Happy four months old, baby. Thank you for filling our home with your special kind of warmth.

We love you,

we love you,

we love you!

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